Singapore Airlines has rolled out its first-ever transfer bonus, and it’s widely available: You can get a 15% bonus when transferring points from American Express, Capital One, Chase, and Citi to your Singapore account.
This transfer bonus runs through Dec. 27, 2020, so you’ve got plenty of time to decide whether to put it to use. There’s a minimum transfer of 10,000 credit card points to qualify for the bonus – but after that you can transfer in increments of 1,000 and still get the bonus. Singapore has a full breakdown of this transfer bonus on its site.
Critically, this bonus won’t show up when you log into your Chase or Amex account and go to transfer points. Singapore Airlines is handling it on the backend: Transfer 10,000 points and Singapore will give you an additional 1,500 points for a total of 11,500.
Transfer bonuses like this one are great because they’re essentially free airline miles and a great way to get even more value out of your credit card points.
This latest transfer bonus, first reported by MileLion, stands out for two reasons. For starters, it’s the first time we can recall seeing a transfer bonus to Singapore miles. And most transfer bonuses are one-offs between the airline and a single credit card currency. In this case, you’ve got your pick of the litter.
Should You Transfer Points to Singapore?
But is it worth taking advantage of this?
While any bonus points are welcome, 15% is fairly measly compared to the 30% to 40% bonuses that are standard for transfer bonuses. It’s even worse for Capital One: The standard transfer ratio is 2:1. So even with this bonus, a transfer of 10,000 Capital One Venture miles would net you just 5,750 Singapore miles.
Singapore Airlines miles also expire after three years – and there’s no way to reset that clock. Now more than ever, you should never transfer points unless if you’ve already decided what you’re going to book with them.
Transfers are a one-way street: Once you send your Chase or Amex points to Singapore, you can’t get them back.
Unless if you’ve got a specific redemption in mind or need to top off your Singapore account, I’m not sure these transfer bonuses are worth a hard look.
Keep tabs on all the ongoing credit card transfer bonuses!
How to Maximize the Singapore Airlines Transfer Bonus
That said, there are potentially some great ways to put this transfer bonus to use.
Using Singapore KrisFlyer miles is one of the only ways to book Singapore business or first class, which are easily among the best in the world.
Read our full review of Singapore Airlines business class from Singapore (SIN) to Los Angeles (LAX)!
For example, you can book a business class flight from the West Coast to Singapore (SIN) all the way out through October 2021 for 95,000 miles each way. With this bonus, that means you’d need to transfer just 83,000 points from Chase, American Express, or Citi.
Keep in mind that Singapore still currently bans international travel, and there’s no concrete sign of when that may change. Singapore charges just $25 to change the date on a saver award ticket and a $75 redeposit fee to cancel and get your miles back.
But Singapore miles are also one of the best ways to book flights to Hawaii using points. You can use Singapore miles to fly Alaska Airlines from the mainland U.S. to all four Hawaiian airlines … and it costs just 24,000 miles round-trip, or just 21,000 points with this transfer bonus. That’s less than what many airlines charge for a one-way flight.
You’ll need to book a nonstop flight to get these low rates, so you may need to book a connecting flight. Alaska only flies direct to the Hawaiian islands from West Coast airports like Los Angeles (LAX), San Francisco (SFO), Seattle (SEA) and Portland (PDX).
But it works whether you’re flying to the Big Island (KOA), Kahului Airport on Maui (OGG), Honolulu International Airport (HNL), or Kauai (LIH). Unfortunately, you have to call Sinagpore’s booking line at 1 (800) 742-3333 as these flights aren’t yet bookable online. But for the savings, it could be worth the extra work.
Any transfer bonus is welcome news. And while this 15% bonus when transferring credit card points to Singapore isn’t quite a home run, it could make sense if you’ve got a specific trip in mind.